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What’s on TV Friday: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and ‘Superfly’

A “Star Wars” origin story is available for streaming. And Director X’s “Superfly” remake is on Starz.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (2018) on Amazon, Google Play, Netflix, Vudu and YouTube. For a film that takes place in the galaxy far, far away, not many people saw “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The arrival on Netflix of this “Star Wars” prologue — a letdown at the box office when it was released — will presumably shake loose some potential viewers who were too fatigued by the other recent “Star Wars” movies to cough up movie theater prices for this one in May. Those who choose to indulge now will learn a lot about the swashbuckling galactic cowboy Han Solo, made famous in the original films by Harrison Ford and here played in a younger version by Alden Ehrenreich. They will learn, for example, that Solo can be a dishonest card player when necessary, and that he met his first lover, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), while they were both living in the streets. Ron Howard directs an ensemble that also includes Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams in the originals) and Woody Harrelson as a mentor to Solo. In a lukewarm review for The New York Times, A. O. Scott wrote that the movie is “a curiously low-stakes blockbuster, in effect a filmed Wikipedia page.”

INFORMER on Amazon Prime. After being picked up for a minor offense, a second-generation British-Pakastani man (Nabhaan Rizwan) is manipulated by counterterrorism agents in this six-part British thriller series, which aired originally on the BBC. Artful shots of the show’s East London setting abound, as do thick British accents; Paddy Considine stars as the central counterterrorism officer.

SUPERFLY (2018) 10 p.m. on Starz. Director X took Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 blaxploitation movie about a man trying to leave the drug world and updated it for the cryptocurrency and Black Lives Matter age in this remake. Trevor Jackson stars as Youngblood Priest, with Jason Mitchell as his second in command and Michael Kenneth Williams as his disquieting martial-arts enthusiast of a mentor. The original’s Harlem location is swapped for Atlanta. And the Atlanta rapper Future contributes original songs, which also repurposes some material from Curtis Mayfield’s revered 1972 soundtrack.

YOUNG WINSTON (1972) 10 p.m. on TCM. The early exploits of Winston Churchill are explored in this Richard Attenborough-directed film, which casts Simon Ward as the near-mythologic British politician. The movie propelled the career of Ward, then a mostly unknown actor, who here stars opposite Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft. Based on an early autobiography by Churchill, the “young Winston” of this movie is seen in several eras, from him days at school to his time as a war correspondent and his election to Parliament.

JAMES DAVIS: LIVE FROM THE TOWN 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. The comedian James Davis (“Hood Adjacent With James Davis”) discusses matters in this hourlong stand-up special that include the outdatedness of keying cars and the fantasy of Barack Obama as a nightclub D.J.


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